New MINI Convertible LaunchedIt has been a sales success in the previous two generations, particularly in the UK, and now the third generation of MINI Convertible is officially on its way.
It's the latest model to be added to MINI's range rejuvenation, following debuts for new generations of 3-door hatch, Clubman, Countryman and Paceman, along with the all-new 5-door hatch model.
Based on the newest 3-door hatch, the Convertible has grown slightly. At 3,821mm long (3,850mm for the Cooper S), 1,727mm wide and 1,415mm high, the new MINI Convertible is 98mm longer and 44mm wider than the previous car. There's a 28mm increase in the wheelbase too, to 2,495mm, which increases interior room for the occupants. There's more adjustment for the front seats, while rear seat passengers have easier access, more headroom longer seats and better lateral support.
The mild increase in dimensions along with a change to interior packaging means that luggage volume is now up to 215 litres with the roof in place and 160 litres with it folded down - an improvement of around 25 per cent.
It's a more refined than the previous model too, with a new fully electric roof that's both quieter and smoother. It will open or close in 18 seconds and at speeds of up to 18mph. You can also retract a 40cm section of roof on its own to enjoy a little extra light having to drop the roof completely. In an industry first, you can have a pattern woven into the roof fabric - a Union Flag, of course!
The Convertible model will be available in Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper D specifications. The Cooper and Cooper D feature 1.5 litre, three-cylinder engines, with the petrol-powered Cooper producing 136hp and the diesel Cooper D with 116hp. Combined fuel economy is 55.4 and 70.6mpg respectively. The Cooper S is once for performance fans, with 192hp from a 2-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol engine. It accomplishes the 0-60mph sprint in 7.2s, but still posts an impressive 46.3mpg combined economy, thanks to MINIMALISM technology like start/stop, brake energy recuperation and needs-based control of the coolant pumps to reduce power drain. All engines can be specified with a 6-speed automatic gearbox in place of the standard 6-speed manual.
You'll find a high level of standard equipment too, including MINI Connected infotainment, park distance control, a rear reversing camera and a head-up display. This latter system is new to the MINI Convertible and projects driving information on to a display above the instrument panel, for quick reference without the driver having to take their eyes off the road.
MINI is renowned for customisation of course, and there's plenty of options available for the Convertible. Sports-oriented John Cooper Works options include an aerodynamics kit, leather steering wheel and sport seats, while LED lights inside and out are optional across the range.
The new MINI Convertible is officially on sale from March 2016.